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Post-Burning Man Reflections

Things I learned:

  • From publishing workshop – you need an audience and a platform to get published
  • Social media is otherwise essentially a vacuum; it’s worse than useless. The way many of us use it is like eating white sugar every day in large quantities – pleasant but harmful; it will rot your teeth, cause wrinkles and Diabetes II, and cause you to become obese. If you are not benefiting from it, you should not be consuming it passively. Just as we should be careful and conscientious about what food we consume, we should also be just as aware of what media we consume. Mindless trends, television, and unimportant data is like noise – it will only drown out the more important things. Junk food for the mind will make it just as unhealthy as eating donuts every day for the body. Relaxing for half an hour and vegging out is not the problem. The problem is that consuming social media and television affects what you care about, what you think about, what your world consists of. Social media and television tastes sweet – it tastes good, may even feel good to lose yourself in the swirl of things that don’t matter. But it is devoid of nutrition, devoid of meaning or anything that is good for you. And you can only have so many calories in a day. You are either devoting a sizable chunk of your attention to empty calories, where you could be devoting it to enrichment, or you are consuming too much, overloading your mind with senseless noise and teaching it to focus on things that don’t matter. “Instagram is so thirsty, yet gives you Death by Water.”
  • Think bigger.
  • One of the world’s biggest problems right now is global warming. What can we do to help tackle this problem? I need to do more reading on this, but it seems like two very big issues we are poised to face are the dependence of humanity on oil and the unsustainable consumption of meat. In light of this, two potential avenues to pursue are improving and spreading the use of solar energy and finding meat substitutes that people actually eat and adopt, which means the meat substitute has to taste good. Two examples of companies tackling these issues are Solar City and Impossible Foods.
  • Another one of the world’s biggest problems is humanity increasingly becoming stratified between Have and Have Nots. How can we solve this problem?
  • Reading in a hammock under the shade while drinking cold tea in the desert is one of the best recreational activities. The Temple of Unitea was by far the best camp.
  • It is good to unplug to remember what is important.
  • Neal Stephenson is an insanely creative writer and I should read more of his work.
  • From the biography I read: Elon Musk is especially good at breaking down large, complex problems into a simpler equation, and solve them with a foundation of math, physics, and examining costs/profits.
  • Spending time with friends at Burning Man is a great way to bond with friends.
  • Remember what is important to you. Social media is not important. Even photography, while inherently enjoyable, is unlikely to impact the world in a significant manner (or at least the content that I create is unlikely to).
  • Optimize your life for making the biggest difference in the world. Don’t spend much time or thought space on things that don’t matter.
  • During free time, spend my time reading, writing, working out, hosting friends for dinner, and eating healthy. Spend less time plugged in to the web.

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